Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Uncle Sam's $1 billion Health Giveaway

Health & Human Services revealed recipients of PPACA's latest cash bonanza, medical discovery grants and tax credits.  Like the $5 billion early retiree reinsurance program (ERRP), thousands of companies were approved in a short time frame.

One recipient is Quest Diagnostics, with ties to Gail Wilensky, former Medicare Chief, and Nancy-Ann DeParle, White House Health Czar.  Quest got roughly $490,000 for two projects.  However, Quest has an equity investment in SomaLogic, which raked in $1.9 million.  Over 75% of the funding was for work done in 2009, i.e., already expended.  Nearly $2.5 million for Quest affiliated projects?  Not bad for a day's work.  Might Gail send Nancy a thank you card?

A flummoxed President Obama need not ponder why $6 billion in corporate healthcare juice didn't impact election returns.  Virtually no voters knew of the programs.  Instead, the public was bombarded with inflammatory nonsense.  Funny, I saw no ad citing 51 million Americans without health insurance.  No candidate framed health reform as a seismic shift of responsibility from employers to the individual

While individuals bear more, even going without, corporations line up for goodies.  Will Republicans call for repeal of these corporate giveaways?  My bet, Reds stay mum. The uninsured don't vote.  None of them.